What Is ‘System Interrupts High CPU’ And How To Fix Usage


Windows includes a built-in feature called System Interrupts. Despite the fact that it cannot be classified as a process, it can serve as a container for the system resources consumed by all of the hardware interrupts on your computer.

The use of hardware interrupts is essential in order to effectively manage and run multiple tasks at the same time. The ability to prioritise processes, which interrupt provides, is a critical feature of the operating system.

Interrupts act as a go-between, directing attention to the urgent directives that must be carried out immediately. By suspending another process or telling the CPU that the higher priority instructions are ready to be processed, it is possible to prioritise them.

For the OS to function properly, hundreds of processes must be running in parallel.


The operating system’s “System interrupts” play a significant role. The impact on overall performance is expected to be no greater than 2% to 3%. At a 20 percent increase in the process, it’s time to start looking for alternatives.

It is possible to identify the root cause of these issues by looking at elements such as corrupted drivers, external devices, and a quick startup or boot.

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Unveiling the Meaning of “System Interrupts High CPU”

When you encounter “System Interrupts High CPU” usage, it signifies that a significant portion of your computer’s processing power is being consumed by system interrupt requests. System interrupts are signals sent by hardware devices to the CPU, requesting immediate attention or action.

While some level of system interrupt activity is normal, excessively high CPU usage attributed to system interrupts can indicate underlying issues affecting system performance.

Key Components Involved in System Interrupts

  1. CPU (Central Processing Unit): The CPU is the primary component responsible for executing instructions and processing data within the computer.
  2. Hardware Devices: Various hardware components, such as network adapters, storage controllers, and USB devices, generate interrupt requests to communicate with the CPU.
  3. Interrupt Controller: The interrupt controller manages the flow of interrupt requests from hardware devices to the CPU, prioritizing and directing them accordingly.

Common Causes of System Interrupts High CPU Usage

Several factors can contribute to high CPU usage attributed to system interrupts. Identifying the root cause is crucial for implementing effective solutions. Some common causes include:

1. Hardware Driver Issues

  • Outdated or Faulty Drivers: Incompatible, outdated, or faulty device drivers for hardware components can generate excessive interrupt requests, leading to high CPU usage.
  • Interrupt Storms: Driver-related issues, such as interrupt storms or conflicts between hardware devices, can result in a surge of interrupt requests, overwhelming the CPU.

2. Hardware Problems

  • Faulty Hardware Components: Malfunctioning or failing hardware components, such as malfunctioning network adapters or storage devices, can generate erroneous interrupt requests, consuming CPU resources.
  • Incompatible Hardware: Using incompatible or unsupported hardware components may lead to compatibility issues and increased system interrupt activity.

3. Power Management Settings

  • High Performance Modes: Enabling high-performance power management settings may increase system interrupt activity as hardware components operate at maximum capacity, leading to higher CPU usage.
  • Interrupt Moderation: Disabling interrupt moderation or offloading settings in network adapter properties may exacerbate system interrupt issues, resulting in elevated CPU usage.

4. Software Conflicts

  • Background Processes: Resource-intensive background processes or software applications may generate excessive interrupt requests, competing for CPU resources and causing high CPU usage.
  • Security Software: Overly aggressive or poorly configured security software, such as antivirus programs or firewalls, may interfere with hardware communication, resulting in increased interrupt activity.

How to Fix High CPU Usage Caused by System Interrupts in Windows 10, 8, and 7

Method 1: Turn off USB Root Hubs

Have you ever wondered why your computer can connect to so many different peripherals? The USB Root Hub is to blame. You can use it to connect several USB devices to your computer using a software driver.

USB root hubs can be used to exchange data between many computers.

Step 1: Input devices like keyboards and mice should have their USB root hubs disabled when not in use. The first step is to identify which USB root hubs are being used by these devices. Fix the System Interrupts High CPU Usage by disabling the additional ones.

Step 2: Press the Windows + R key combination to begin.

Step 3: To access Device Manager, run the command “devmgmt.msc.” Go to “Universal Serial Bus Controllers” in the device and look for a list of the root hubs.

Step 4:  Now select “Properties” by selecting “right-click” on the root hub. Open the “Properties” menu and look under the “Power” tab to see if your devices are connected. If your mouse and keyboard have any connection to this root hub, they should show up. If this is the case, disable all other root hubs except for this one.

Step 5: After determining which root hub is being used by your mouse and keyboard, right-click and select “Disable.”

Step 6: Finally, reboot your computer to have the modifications take effect.

Step 7: The original settings can always be restored if this method doesn’t work for you.

Method 2: Disabling Audio Enhancements

In order to ensure the best possible performance for consumers, Windows has a large number of drivers and software packages. In an effort to give us with the finest possible sound quality, several sound drivers employ improvements.

The System Interrupts High CPU Usage problem we receive occurs if the properties of these upgrades are incompatible with your system. Disabling the audio improvements and re-enabling them should fix the issue.

In order to avoid confusion with sound blasters, we need to keep an eye on the enhancements tab’s name. Then, we should disable the audio’s effects. The sound and equaliser on your system are under the control of a third-party programme.

Other apps can override the sound settings thanks to a feature called “Exclusive mode.” Because some sound drivers have issues with this model, it’s not always useful. Even if it isn’t a problem, we should look into every option to see if we can find a solution.

Step 1: To begin, open Settings by pressing Windows key + I. Then use the search bar at the top to find “Control Panel” and click on it to access it.

Step 2: Using the search bar at the top right corner of the screen, type “sound” and press enter. Take a look at the sound options.

Step 3: Once the sound options have been revealed, select the audio device that is linked to your system by clicking on its name. Right-click to open the Properties window.

Step 4: Go to “Enhancement Tabs” and uncheck all the enhancements that you have activated. “Disable All Enhancements” can also be selected directly.

Step 5: Select “Advanced” from the menu bar and uncheck “Exclusive Mode.” Exit after saving your modifications.

Method 3: Disable wake-on-magic packet

Windows offers a wonderful function that allows you to wake up your PC when data is transmitted over the network. This data packet is referred to by Windows as the “Wake on Magic Packet” data packet.

There are a lot of interrupts resulting from this packet of data, and the system has to respond to them all. If disabling this feature in settings doesn’t work, we may always go back to the defaults and start over.

Step 1: First, open the Run application on your computer by pressing Windows + R. To open the device manager, type “devmgmt.msc” in the command line.

Step 2: Using the device manager, you can sort and view all of your system’s connected devices in one place.

Step 3: Selecting Network Adapters in the next step brings up a list of available devices. Open the “Properties” of the Ethernet and WiFi devices you want to configure.

Step 4: Now that you’ve opened all of the other tabs, select the Advanced one. Search for the “Wake on Magic Packet” option after that After that, click Disabled, save, and then close the programme.

Step 5: Restart your computer if necessary, and see whether the System Interrupts High CPU Usage issue still occurs.

Method 4: Install Intel Rapid Storage Technology

To improve the performance and reliability of SATA-based devices, such as server platforms, mobile phones, and desktops, Intel Rapid Storage Technology (Intel RST) is a great feature included in Windows.

It is much better if you have a gadget that uses many SATA disc drives for storage. It’s because it saves power while simultaneously boosting performance, resulting in an exponential improvement in efficiency.

In the event of a disc failure, using numerous drives offers you with a better safety net for having a backup and avoiding data loss. The Intel Rapid Storage Technology module has proved advantageous to some users in a few situations.

It is critical that you understand that this would be changing the SATA controller driver with a guarantee that the installation would not cause any problems. Simply visit Intel’s official website and utilise their manual to install the module if you are fully educated in the mechanics.

Method 5: Turning off Fast Startup

In Windows 10, the hibernation feature and the cold shutdown feature are combined into a feature called fast startup. It is akin to a cold boot when Windows shuts down and locks everyone out.

Windows now behaves in the same manner as it did when it was originally booted (as all users are logged off, and applications are closed). As long as the system session is going on, the kernel has already started to boot up.

Ultimately, the purpose of Windows is to make it easier and faster for its users to accomplish their tasks. As a way to speed up startup, Windows sends out a hibernation-related message and saves the current state of the system before turning off the system itself.

We can clearly observe that this is a departure from the norm when it comes to shutting down computers. Disabling this function has been found to reduce the system’s high CPU use.

Step 1: Open Run by pressing Windows + R. To open the control panel, type “Control Panel” in the dialogue box and press Enter.

Step 2: Select “Power Options” on your system’s control panel’s drop-down menu. Afterwards, click the left pane’s “Power button” option, which can be visible.

Step 3: Select the “Change Settings that are currently inaccessible” option, which necessitates administrator rights.

Step 4: Uncheck the “Turn on rapid startup” option at the bottom of the screen. Save your modifications and then quit the programme.

Finally, restart your computer to see if the adjustments you made were successful.

Method 6: Troubleshooting Devices and Drivers

Since none of the procedures above have worked, we must now identify the specific device or driver that is causing the issue. Disconnecting all external devices is the initial step in the elimination process, followed by disabling all internal devices.

For completeness’ sake, the drivers will also be updated during the elimination phase.

Step 1: Disconnect all external devices in an organised method and monitor the CPU utilisation. Disconnecting a device and observing a reduction in utilisation of at least 2% to 3% indicates the presence of a faulty component.

Step 2: Start with the internal devices if none of the external devices show any fault. This one is a little more involved than the last one because it necessitates disabling them in the device management. Disabling key systems like disc drives or display adapters is vitally critical.

In some cases, manual updates are preferable. Instead, we must manually verify each update by installing the most recent build of drivers and, if no difference is observed, going back to the previous version. Your manufacturer’s website must be consulted before making any changes to your system.

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“System Interrupts High CPU” usage can be a perplexing issue affecting system performance, but with a systematic troubleshooting approach, it can be resolved effectively.

By understanding the common causes behind high CPU usage attributed to system interrupts and following the practical solutions outlined in this guide, users can optimize system performance and ensure smooth operation of their computer systems.

Whether it’s updating device drivers, checking hardware components, or adjusting power management settings, addressing “System Interrupts High CPU” usage requires diligence, patience, and a willingness to explore various troubleshooting methods.

With the insights provided in this guide, users can diagnose and resolve system interrupt issues effectively, restoring optimal performance to their computer systems.


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